My goal during my half marathon training is to run four days a week and cross train/strength train for at least two; giving me one day of rest each week. Initially I had a full 18 weeks of training for my half, but between injuring my IT Band (worst it has ever been) and getting a sinus infection, I was out for about 2 weeks. It might not sound like much, but that threw off my entire schedule. So, I created a new 14 week training plan, and started training once again. So far so good, but in full disclosure it wasn’t stellar.
The first day I thought, “Hey! I’ve been working all day, and I want to see my kids and husband so why don’t I run next to them as he bikes the kids in the bike trailer!” It was a great idea, but ended up feeling like a long road trip of Zooey saying, “I want ice cream. Can we get ice cream? Are we done?” etc. I used to run with her all of the time in my jogging stroller, but that was when she was younger and would fall asleep or at least be entertained by me saying, “Be on the lookout for a squirrel!” Yeah, she’s getting a bit older, and so maybe i’ll need to think of new ideas to entertain. So basically my husband ended up biking home, and I ran home the rest of the way by myself, and a bit stressed.
The second day of running was probably the most idiotically prepared. Since my husband’s school year is starting up again we planned for a stay-date (the night before my run). After the kids went to bed we baked chili-lime salmon, sweet potato chips, shared a flour-less chocolate cake, split a bottle of Rose wine, and stayed up talking until midnight. That wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I woke up at 5:45 AM to get out the door to run by 6 AM! Like an amateur, I had drank the night before, barely slept, had a glass of water before I headed out the door without eating anything, and started running. It happened to be 80 degrees already with humidity you had to cut through, and by the first mile I felt like hurling. The acid in my stomach burned so much, I was breathing heavy, and just felt A W F U L. Initially I thought maybe after this half marathon I should just retire from running period, my body just feels awful, and maybe I should just be done. But during my run I happened to be listening to a podcast that talked about during runs you face your dragons. These dragons are the same ones you have at any other stressful time in life, but when you’re running you find them, battle them, and defeat them. I realized then that I was considering not running because I felt awful, but I felt awful because I drank wine, barely slept, and didn’t eat anything before my run. I realized my body felt like crap because I had just treated it like crap. Running wasn’t the problem, I was! So I battled that dragon during that run and told myself, no, I am not going to treat myself like that again. Even though it was a fun stay-date and I loved that time with my husband, I also love myself and my body deserves to be treated well.
As you can imagine days three and four were much better than days one and two. Day four even happened to be 80 degrees with 97% humidity at 6 AM and I rocked it!
To be a runner it’s important to be flexible, listen to your body, and adjust your lifestyle and training plan in order to rock the running week. I’m excited to see my body continue to improve this next week!